{dc} slightly past peak

April 25, 2018

Hello,

I’ve heard that springtime in DC is when the city awakes from its winter slumber and really comes alive with activity. This spring, the weather has been a little temperamental, literally. Although most of the winter was warmer than average, March saw a stretch of way-below-average temperatures. This means that the iconic DC cherry blossom peak bloom forecast started off in mid-March and was pushed back several times. Peak bloom ended up being over the weekend of April 7-9.

Of course, I happened to be out of town that weekend, but I went this past weekend and was able to catch the tail end of the bloom around the Tidal Basin. Many of the blossoms had already started dying, but my friend and I were still able to catch a few good ones!

As you can see, there are a few different varieties ranging from white to darker pink.

With the Washington Monument in the background!

We lucked out and went on a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 80s, but if I do say so myself, springtime in DC is just beautiful!

~attrace

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Considering my limited time between leaving Wales and heading to London to meet my mom and sister, Salisbury wasn’t exactly on my list of must-see places, but the only way for me to get to Stonehenge was to start from Salisbury so low-and-behold, I had a few hours after Stonehenge before I had to get on the train to London. During that time, I decided to walk around the city center for a little bit, but my main goal was to see the Salisbury Cathedral.

Formerly called the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Salisbury Cathedral is one of those churches that you read about in books set in early English times. It’s enormously tall, has an incredibly floor plan, encompasses a ridiculous number of rooms and parts, and is just magnificent to look at. The architecture is impressive from every angle. The stained glass windows are bright and incredibly detailed. And the vaulted ceilings seem impossibly high. The steeples too, like, how does the entire structure not just fall down?

Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum • holyrood views 15th century st. giles cathedral closes abound edinburgh’s castle headed north dunkeld, the first stop the highlands killiecrankie’s soldier’s leap a wee dram of tomatin here comes the snow clava cairns’ standing stones crossing the bridge to skye isle of skye sites the old man of storreilean donan castle the heeland coo kilt rock “city” of portree black and white glen coe the last loch celebrating william wallace it’s the food!
Wales – cardiff’s majestic castle countryside it’s the food!fantasy costell cochcaerphilly castle + dragons dusk cardiff buildings the national museum collection mermaids in cardifffireworks
England – bath’s abbey bath’s baths bath’s royal crescent bath’s eats bath’s pulteney bridge bath’s medieval sights mysterious stonehenge

An English photo adventure:

Stonehenge is so famous I just couldn’t settle with being right in the general area and not stopping by to see it, especially since I had decided to spend time in Wales and would need to head east anyway to get to London. In order to have enough time for all this, I left Bath with my pack and did a day trip during which I headed to Salisbury early in the morning. From there, you can take a bus to Stonehenge. By early evening, I was already in London!

There wasn’t much wiggle room in the schedule at all so even though it was scheduled to rain the entire day, I had to make my day trip work. As luck turns out, it didn’t rain all day. It poured! It was also fairly windy so an umbrella was not the most helpful either, though was better than nothing. Despite the thick clouds and downpour, Stonehenge was still as magical and mysterious as all the books. It’s just crazy to think that ancient peoples had put these (any many more) stones here and we still can’t seem to figure out exactly how or why! The interactive museum was also quite good, especially the rotunda room you walk into that gives you a sense of how Stonehenge looked over time as if you were standing right in the middle of it! A very neat experience!

Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum • holyrood views 15th century st. giles cathedral closes abound edinburgh’s castle headed north dunkeld, the first stop the highlands killiecrankie’s soldier’s leap a wee dram of tomatin here comes the snow clava cairns’ standing stones crossing the bridge to skye isle of skye sites the old man of storreilean donan castle the heeland coo kilt rock “city” of portree black and white glen coe the last loch celebrating william wallace it’s the food!
Wales – cardiff’s majestic castle countryside it’s the food!fantasy costell cochcaerphilly castle + dragons dusk cardiff buildings the national museum collection mermaids in cardifffireworks
England – bath’s abbey bath’s baths bath’s royal crescent bath’s eats bath’s pulteney bridge bath’s medieval sights

An English photo adventure:

Ever since reading The Handmaid’s Tale, I”d been thinking about reading more Margaret Atwood books, but hadn’t been actively searching. Recently, I happened upon Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and realized that it was the same author so of course I had to read it. Margaret Atwood must really love writing about dystopian societies because this one was a very dystopian society to the point where the main character Jimmy (who also goes by Snowman) didn’t even though if there were other real people left on the planet.

In the book, you are pulled back and forth from the present when Jimmy has named himself Snowman to the past during which Jimmy is growing up with his parents, going to college, and operating in a world he thinks is normal. To us today, the world seems horrible though not entirely impossible. Corporations have taken over everything. There are all kinds of genetically created food processes. There are crazy cross-breeds of animals that scientists created to get rid of one problem but as a result created a new problem. They then try and solve that problem by cross-breeding other animals. As you can imagine, the result is chaos. For a good chunk of the book, you don’t even know who Oryx and Crake are or if they’re people or characters at all. Eventually you do though and the story line becomes even creepier. Yikes! Dystopian societies where animals and humans are modified to be specific way are scary to think about!

Bath was built during medieval times. In fact, there used to be a wall that surrounded the medieval city and part of it still stands today. When in Bath, I did a little Lonely Planet self-guided tour to make sure I got a chance to see all the highlights. I was glad I did this even though I needed to wear my pack for almost the entire multi-mile thing because the hostel I was staying at annoyingly didn’t let me leave my pack there early.

Nevertheless, I just loved seeing all the green space against the Gregorian stonework. Even though all the buildings are the exact same color (since they’re built with the exact same type of yellow-ish stone found in this area), I just loved how it made the entire city seem like it popped straight out of a fairy tale. It was all so magical!

Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum • holyrood views 15th century st. giles cathedral closes abound edinburgh’s castle headed north dunkeld, the first stop the highlands killiecrankie’s soldier’s leap a wee dram of tomatin here comes the snow clava cairns’ standing stones crossing the bridge to skye isle of skye sites the old man of storreilean donan castle the heeland coo kilt rock “city” of portree black and white glen coe the last loch celebrating william wallace it’s the food!
Wales – cardiff’s majestic castle countryside it’s the food!fantasy costell cochcaerphilly castle + dragons dusk cardiff buildings the national museum collection mermaids in cardifffireworks
England – bath’s abbey bath’s baths bath’s royal crescent bath’s eats bath’s pulteney bridge

An English photo adventure: